It’s Okay, It’s Organic

29 Mar

This is the statement I heard the other night while dining at a hot new dining spot downtown.  Our table ordered steak tartare and when it arrived it had a raw egg on top.  One of the guests at our table mentioned to the server, “I hope this egg is pasteurized.”  This is when the server said “Oh don’t worry, it’s organic.”  Huh?  Since this particular guest at our table is well versed in food science and food safety quickly rolled his eyes and said, “There’s another misconception.”

The media has aggressively jumped on the organic train and proclaiming how healthy it is.  The truth is, just because it’s organic doesn’t mean it’s good for you.  Do you think you’ll be healthier eating a box of organic cookies versus a package of Oreos?

The server was clearly uninformed and assumed the raw egg would be healthy simply because it’s organic.  Fact is, if the restaurant served an unpasteurized egg the health department would be all over them like a cheap suit.  A couple salmonella outbreaks and that “so hot” restaurant would be “so closed down”.

Should you purchase some organic fruits and vegetables?  Yes.  Should you buy all organic fruits and vegetables?  No.  If the fruit has a skin on it you remove (pineapples and bananas for example) don’t bother.  The pesticides will be removed when you remove the skin.  Some other fruits (apples, strawberries) should be organic if possible since these types are exposed to more pesticides and therefore may be harmful.

Now, if you don’t purchase organic foods because of cost or availability will you instantly start glowing and drop dead from the pesticides?  No.  However, if you can afford to purchase certain types that is ideal.  If not, rinse them thoroughly to get off as much of the chemicals as possible.

And, for crying out loud, don’t make assumptions that everything organic is healthy and all other foods are not.  Those kinds of assumptions are narrow-minded and possibly dangerous (thinking an unpasteurized egg is healthy because it’s organic).

Be smart.  Be informed.  Now let’s eat!


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